15 Do’s and Don’ts of Home Etiquette When Visiting Someone’s Home

Now that we can visit friends and family again after lockdown, have we forgotten how to behave outside of our homes?

Fortunately, the interior experts at Stelrad have compiled a list of some of the basic home etiquettes that are most often overlooked. Want to make sure you don’t look disrespectful the next time you visit your loved ones? Then find out how you can avoid making some of the same mistakes…

1. Avoid asking for the WiFi code right away

Even though most of us are often glued to our cell phones, it can be considered rude to dive straight into the WiFi code when visiting a friend or family member. Even if you’re visiting a close friend, it’s polite to wait a bit before pulling out your phone and trying to connect to WiFi.

2. Take off your shoes when entering

Different households have different opinions on footwear at home, so it’s always best to make sure you’re on the same page. When you arrive at the entrance, it is good etiquette to take off your shoes before going through the house or check with the owner to see if he would prefer you to do so before going any further.

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Beautiful House/Rachel Whiting

3. Move screens away from the dinner table

Once your hosts have made the effort to serve a good meal, taking out your phone at mealtimes can be considered a rude gesture. Taking a break from the screen, even if it’s just at the table, is politeness. It also allows you to spend uninterrupted time with loved ones and friends while enjoying a home-cooked meal.

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4. Do not enter rooms without permission

The bedroom is one of the most personal and private spaces in our homes, which is why you should stay out of the way unless invited. risk going overboard and making your host uncomfortable.

ottoman bed frame in neva velvet finish

5. Avoid the temptation to open the fridge

It is a courtesy to stay away from your host’s refrigerator and kitchen cabinets, rather than asking permission if you wish to eat or drink, rather than serving yourself. Many homeowners feel uncomfortable if they notice their guests snooping around, so unless you have the green light to do so, avoid entering kitchen cabinets or the fridge without asking first. .

6. Don’t show up to a dinner party empty-handed

Whether you’re attending a family dinner, a meal with co-workers, or a get-together with friends, showing your appreciation to the host is considered good etiquette. It doesn’t have to be a big or expensive gift, but a simple gesture to say thank you for hosting can go a long way. Common gifts include a bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers, or a box of chocolates.

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7. Wait until you are offered to eat before going home

Helping yourself to food at someone else’s house can be misinterpreted as bad manners, especially if you’re not particularly close to the owner. It’s always good to check before you start eating. Wait for food to be offered to you or ask if it’s okay to eat any food that may be on hand and left out.

8. Appreciate and accept the food offered to you

And while we’re on the subject of food, if a host has put time and effort into preparing food and drink for their guests, it may be considered rude if you turn them down completely. Although it differs from person to person, it is polite to join owners in taking advantage of their offers, even if only in small amounts. Of course, this may not apply if you have dietary requirements or make an unscheduled appearance. But people often like to see their guests enjoying their hospitality.

friends having dinner at a wooden table

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9. Keep your feet away from furniture

Even if you’re used to resting your feet on the coffee table or relaxing on the sofa in your own home, it’s polite to avoid doing this when you’re at someone else’s house. Some people don’t like feet on furniture, even if you’re wearing socks or slippers, as it can be perceived as a lack of respect for their home. If you’re visiting a close friend or family member and you feel comfortable in their home, it’s still polite to ask permission to do so before you get too comfortable.

10. Don’t bring furry friends without asking first

Bringing your pet to someone else’s home without discussing it first can surprise owners and isn’t always a welcome addition. Instead of assuming it will be fine to do so, always check that the owners are happy for you to bring your pets. Be sure to check in advance that there are no allergies, children or other pets to worry about as well.

11. Always flush the toilet

Although it may seem obvious, not everyone is used to flushing the toilet after use. Whether or not you’re on a mission to save water in your own home, be sure to flush the toilet when you’re invited to someone else’s home. And on that note, always make sure the toilet lid is on after use.

house beautiful range of elements with bathroom, now living at home

12. Use a coaster when setting drinks down

You never want to leave unsightly marks on a surface, especially if the piece of furniture is not yours! To make sure this doesn’t happen, always ask for a coaster before setting down your drink. If the host isn’t using coasters or has none left to use, at least you’ve asked for and been given the go-ahead.

13. Take off your outerwear when you’re indoors.

Even if you don’t plan on staying long, it’s good etiquette to remove your coat and all winter clothing like hats, scarves, and gloves when entering a home. For a homeowner, having guests dress for the outdoors can be an unsettling feeling, making them worry that their home is cold inside. It can also prevent them from relaxing when you seem ready to leave.

14. Wash your hands before dinner

We’re used to washing our hands more than ever, but before you sit down to enjoy a meal, make sure your hands are clean and fresh. This is especially true if you’re breaking bread, sharing serving utensils, or pouring drinks.

15. Keep your opinions on how they decorated for you

And finally, while it should be obvious, making negative comments about the appearance of your family or friends’ home can be misconstrued. Even if you have good intentions, keep criticism to yourself unless you are asked for your opinion. After all, everyone has different tastes!

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